Keeping your app updated is such an important thing if you want it to continue being successful. The problem is, over time your app will become outdated if it hasn’t received any updates and I’m not talking in a visual sense. Updates aren’t always centred around your tweaks or additional features you want to add, sometimes the reason for an update being needed can be out of your control.
New operating system versions would be a mandatory reason for an update being needed. We’ve just heard about the new iOS 12 due out on Apple devices later this year so undoubtedly this is going to mean apps are going to need to be updated in order to be supported on this new operating system version.
The same applies to Android devices. Currently Oreo is the newest operating system version, with Android P (its food based nickname is currently unknown) currently in Beta, but some people will still be using some of the older ones like Marshmallow or Lollipop. If your app is to work on the newer versions as well as some of the older ones, you have to be open to updating your app.
Another reason for an uncontrollable update is if a new device is released with a screen shape we haven’t seen before. Think about the iPhone X - right now as this post is being written this is the newest Apple phone available - and those of you that are lucky enough to have one will notice that Apple took away the Home button and most of the outer frame to increase the size of the screen. Well, by just making this change 1000’s of apps needed an update and this is because images/text that would normally sit at the edges of the screen are now not sitting correctly. Apps have to be tweaked and tested and updates rolled out so when you installed the new update, your iPhone X displays everything as it should be. Your phone is pretty clever too. It would know that you have a shiny new iPhone X and I have the old iPhone 6s. We both would be issued with the update and we both will install it but it would know only to alter your display on your iPhone X and put the images/text in the right place, mine would stay looking as it always had. Clever hey!
Just bear in mind though we aren’t magic, we can’t make your app work on every version of the operating system in history. It’s only realistic that we cover the versions that are in most use, this way you’re covering most of the market without it being overly costly.
The way we select what versions should be supported is centred around the demographics of your users. For example as of May 31st 2018 only 5% of Apple users are working with iOS 9 or below so there really is no need to support anything before iOS 10. When iOS 12 comes out and the demographics change again, we’ll then review what percentage of the users are still on iOS 10 and decide when is the right time to stop supporting that.
Don’t fret however if as an organisation you want to create a B2E (Business to Employee) app and have invested in a particular device for your staff. We appreciate you may have locked these devices to an older operating system version and that isn’t a problem. We can still make your B2E app work to the highest of standard on these devices.
We’re always open and honest when you come to us to create your app about the versions we support at the start of the project. When update time rolls around we’ll tell you again what versions will be supported moving forward.
If you want to talk to us about an app idea you have why not get in touch on our contact page or give us a call on 01752 395404.
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Next up in the non-techy talks series: What are hybrid apps?